Taking xare of lambs
INCREASING lamb survival rates was one of the key subjects discussed at the Australia Wool Innovation (AWI) Wool Clip presentation at St Arnaud last week.
Producers from local areas gathered to hear five speakers discuss subjects such as commercial production for survivability and new markets for Australian wool.
Nathan Scott from Mike Stevens and Associates discussed increasing lambing survival rates.
"The key factors to enhance lamb survival are soil fertility, pasture quality, animal management and genetics," Mr Scott said.
"But producers need to get the soil fertility, pasture quality and animal management right for the genetics to do their job."
Mr Scott said pasture quality was one of the most important steps for increasing lambing survival rates.
"Without quality pastures, it's hard to meet the energy requirements of a ewe," he said. "[You need] a pasture source during summer to put weight on ewes and get the balance in the pasture right."
Animal management was another key step to increasing rates.
"Knowing the growth rate and weight of your lambs is an important part of a monitoring system because it allows the farmer to identify if something is falling down in their system," Mr Scott said.
"Weigh your dead lambs too, it's a simple thing you can do on the way through at lambing."
Mr Scott discussed lambing offshears and said this put a ewe under a lot of pressure.
"When considering lamb survival rates, lambing offshears will take energy from lactation which will impact on lamb growth rates and weaning weight," he said.
"Think about the time of your lambing, set up a time of year with the right amount of feed under foot."
Undertaking a Lifetime Ewe Management course was a suggestion from Mr Scott, which he said was a good investment for a farmer.
"A ewe condition score and pregnancy status aren't just fancy figures, they are empowering for a producer," he said.